I’ve always known that the decisions we make about food don’t just affect us as we are consuming them but can affect our health in the future. In fact, a new study suggests that our food choices, particularly the ones we make around sugar, can greatly affect our future cognitive health.
For the first time, scientists have established a link between blood sugar glucose and the degenerative neurological condition.
Researchers found that excess glucose damages a vital enzyme involved with inflammation response to the early stage of the disease.
Abnormally high blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia, is a well-known characteristic of diabetes and obesity, and it is already understood that diabetes patients have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, where abnormal proteins assemble to form plaque and tangles in the brain.
Now however, scientists have unravelled the specific molecular link between glucose and Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting people who consume a lot of sugar but are not diabetic are at increased risk.
A longitudinal study, published in the journal Diabetologia, followed 5189 people over 10 years and found that people with high blood sugar had a faster rate of cognitive decline than those with normal blood sugar—whether or not their blood-sugar level technically made them diabetic. In other words, the higher the blood sugar, the faster the cognitive decline.
The fact of the matter is that there is a connection between high blood sugar and dementia. A high sugar diet can also weaken the blood vessels, which increases the likelihood of experiencing mini-strokes in the brain, causing various forms of dementia. A high intake of simple sugars can make cells, including those in the brain, insulin resistant, which can also cause the brain cells to die.
The moral of the story is simple…eat foods that are as close to the earth as you can, avoid overly processed foods and limit your sugar intake.